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Indo-Americans most inspiring diaspora: Blake

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 14:09

Washington: With more than three million in
numbers, Indian Americans are not only the most inspiring
diasporas in the US but their unmatched activism has made sure
their political influence too has grown tremendously, a senior
Obama administration has said.

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central
Asia, Robert Blake, said in his keynote address to the
Washington DC annual gala of the American India Foundation
(AIF) that Indians were today seen at every public platform,
be it politics, academics or business.

"There is no diaspora community that is more successful
and inspiring than the Indian-American community," he said.

Founded in 2001 at the initiative of the then US
President, Bill Clinton, AIF is the leading developmental
organisation focused on helping Indians. Clinton serves as its
honorary chair.

Indian Americans have among the highest if not the
highest per capita incomes of all groups in the United States,
he said.

"Indian Americans are increasingly seeing their influence
grow, whether by election of political stars such as Governor
Bobby Jindal of Louisiana or Governor Nikki Haley of South
Carolina, you see people at every single level of government,
at the highest level --- business, academia and everywhere
else," Blake said in his address at the event that honoured
eminent Indian American Ranvir Trehan with its philanthropy

"So there influence is extremely farfetched. More
importantly now, if you look at the growth of India caucus, it
is the most influential caucus on the Capitol Hill. The reason
for that is the activism and the energy of the Indian American
community," he said.

About a fortnight ago, the India Caucus in the House of
Representatives and the Senate India Caucus had hosted a
reception for the Indian Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao,
that was attended by a large number of American lawmakers.

Blake, who had earlier served in India and Sri Lanka, and
now is the US government`s pointsman for South and Central
Asia said his experiences in India and elsewhere in South Asia
taught him that there are tremendous opportunities for the US
to work more closely with the diaspora to try to leverage
their talent and resources.

"So one of the first things I did as Assistant Secretary
was to hire a new senior advisor position in the South and
Central Asian Affairs Bureau to focus on engaging with the
Diaspora and other external groups," Blake said.

He noted that young Indian American Mitul Desai has been
appointed as the senior advisor for strategic partnership at
the State Department.


First Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 14:09
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